Online multichannel network Fullscreen has become the latest in a series of YouTube partners to raise funding. The company has officially closed a funding round led by The Chernin Group, which also included investment from Comcast Ventures and WPP’s investment arm, WPP Digital.
It’s a huge — and growing — business, with a number of creators and viewers joining monthly. Today, Fullscreen represents more than 10,000 channels on YouTube, which together have more than 150 million subscribers. In turn, those channels genrate more than 2.5 billion views monthly.
A report from AllThingsDigital earlier this year pegged the funding amount at $30 million at a $110 million valuation. In a phone conversation, however, Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos wouldn’t confirm the amount.
For Fullscreen, the funding will be used to advance its business on a number of fronts. The company, which is just one of many multichannel networks representing YouTubers, has to date differentiated itself mostly by providing creators with tools to increase their potential audience reach and overall number of video views.
But rather than just rely on its technology platform as a differentiator, Fullscreen is looking to focus more on video production. That means investing in the creation of some owned and operated content, in cooperation with some of its creators. Owning some of its own content will help improve margins over time, since it won’t be sharing revenues with creators — although Strompolos says the company is already profitable.
Along with investment in content, Fullscreen will also be putting money into expanding the number of platforms it can reach. That means making its videos available through native apps on mobile devices, tablets, and connected TV devices. Not only will that help its creators better engage with viewers, but it will also be able to better monetize its own apps.
In addition, Fullscreen is looking to expand its international presence. It currently has 150 employees, and has grown headcount by 20 percent over the last quarter, but it sees more opportunity to expand in other markets. “YouTube is a global platform,” Strompolos told me, which is part of the reason it wants more coverage in other markets.